…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

You were left with two words to ponder at the end of last week's post. What to do with them?

How does this word help us in our emotional expansion and mental maturity? It indicates the application of the intellectual process. To clarify something we have to investigate, we have to learn, we have to question, we have to raise doubts and we have to test.

We do this all the time at a subconscious level. What is required now, as we seek to assess and improve ourselves, is to make it a conscious and meaningful effort.

We can observe stuff without having any actual feeling about it, but every now and then we do get that quiver of the skin, a shake in the voice, a welling in the eyes. The first thing to assess is whether or not this is just happening with ourselves or is a widespread reaction. If we are watching something unfold on the news, such as a royal wedding or a school shooting, it is to be expected that we are not alone in any reaction that we have to these things. Both are likely to produce tears or a tightening of the facial muscles. In the first case, it will be smiling which tightens the face and the tears will feel soft and joyful and warm on the skin. In the second case, the tightening is likely to be a frown, even a gritting of teeth, the eyes might close and the feeling of despair and uselessness may be present. Tears, if they appear, will be of shock and lament and they will feel cold. (Tears are important... see here.)

However, if we appear to be the only person affected by something, we might have to ponder a little more deeply as to the why of that. Is everyone else 'cold-hearted'? Highly unlikely. Is their response to our reaction telling us whether it was appropriate, or out of context? Did we end up feeling uncomfortable about feeling so strongly when others didn't? What, if anything, was there to gain from being so emotive? Is the effect lasting... are we carrying the feeling with us far beyond the reach of the actual event?

Clarifying what it is that prompts us to emote and coming to grips with the fact that we do so is a major step forward in self-understanding.

There are many ways to purify ourselves so that emotions do not overtake our commonsense and dominate life. Clarification is essential to the process, but having new insight as to the whys and wherefores of our behaviour, what to do next? What is 'purification'?

We can take responsibility for our reactions. This alone is quite difficult if we are used to being ruled by our emotions. It can be things like seeking a self-help group which focus on our specific tendency; we may, through clarification, come to realise we have deep anxiety, or a phobia, or deep despondency. Not ready for that? There are plenty of tools available for reading and listening. Even biographies of people who have similar difficulties can help us to become more objective about our own emotions and encourage to make the steps towards bringing balance into our lives.

Clarification and purification are important tools for any aspect of life. Here the focus has been on emotion and how it can hold us back from being optimum human beings. However, all aspects benefit from learning about the 'stuff' of life and finding ways to apply remedies.

Clarification is learning. Purification is application.

We can learn how to Love; then we can apply it.

Menorise; Saturday Sayings

"All things are subject to decay and when fate summons, monarchs must obey."
(John Dryden)

Menolyrical; Final Friday Fiction

Here it is again, the final Friday of the month. Time to visit Hindertwig once more. To see the story so far, click the title or the label below.

Using page 87 of Holy Gita Ready Reference by Sw. Advayananda CCMT
 8: of life
12: the very doubt
16: the teacher


Hill Bert approached Kern Tup with a degree of deference. The routh was now well underway but there was no call for rushing in like a yearling. He and Kern had shared some fun times in earlier rouths, both having settled for the same does over a number of years. For Hill Bert, it was Low Sooz, and for Kern Tup it was Meenlah. For the last two seasons, however, the older couple had not produced fawns. Meenlah was still of age, capable of life generating in her belly, so the fallow must be Kern’s.

Kern Tup eyed the younger male who came to him now. He a watched the rippling muscle and the well-proportioned antler crown, swaying gently as an invitation to engage. He had observed earlier when Hill Bert had challenged and chased off both Rooper and Pal Sun, something he had not expected to witness so soon. Then again, he had also seen how Low Sooz had inveigled her way into Vidge’s space. Could he face a full engagement with Hill Bert now? This was the very doubt his opponent was having in his turn, had Kern but known it. Nothing of this concern showed in Hill Bert’s demeanour, however.

As Vidge’s second these past several seasons, Kern Tup was seen as the teacher. The one to whom the young were given for guidance in Hinderness and history. If Hill Bert won this challenge he, in turn, would have to take up the mantle of teacher. While he had been attentive himself during learning times, there had been no particular evidence shown that he could take on this task.

‘Then again’, thought Kern, ‘just how ready was I?’ He whuffed the air as he saw the irony of the situation and decided at that moment to engage. He charged Hill Bert with full force.

Hill Bert was ready. The success over Rooper and Pal Sun had not only encouraged him but honed his skills at routh, and as the antlers of the two handsome males crashed, the sound echoed throughout Hindertwig, causing all the does to stop grazing, the younglings to prick their ears and the bucks to sniff the air expectantly.

For what seemed like eighty-seven days, the males twisted and turned, seeking each to turn the other upon his back. In truth, the time was barely eighty-seven minutes. Lengthy enough, compared to most challenges. It proved that Kern Tup was not yet done, but he was also no longer dominant. Then came the briefest moment where he sought to shift and re-lock. In that split second, Hill Bert withdrew completely, leaving Kern unbalanced and surprised. Like lightning, Hill Bert was back upon him and flicking wildly, had the senior on his back as if by some magic trick.

Hill Bert secured the position of second to the first that day.

(476 words)

© Yamini Ali MacLean 2018